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Rare Tornado Storms Past Tokyo, Kills 1

A 14-year-old was killed Sunday when a rare tornado raced through Tsukuba city, some 40 miles (60 km) northeast of Tokyo.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 5/7/2012, 12:12 AM

Tsukuba tornado near Tokyo
Tsukuba tornado near Tokyo
Reuters / Kyodo

A 14-year-old boy was killed Sunday when a rare tornado raced through Tsukuba city, some 40 miles (60 km) northeast of Tokyo. More than 40 others were injured as well, and hundreds of homes were destroyed in the twister.

At least 10 of those who were caught in the storm required treatment at Tsukuba Medical Center, a fire official said, according to The Japan Times.

The city is home to a large science facility, with dozens of research and academic institutes. However, much of the damage appeared to be located in residential areas.

Images broadcast on NHK public television revealed a community in which houses and buildings had suffered shattered windows, smashed balconies and other damage. The tornado had ripped the roofs off some of the homes, left cars dumped on top of others, and left telephone poles tilting at crazy angles.

Approximately 24,000 homes were left without electricity, according to a statement by Tokyo Electric Power Company; hours later, 20,000 homes still had no power.